Fathom Mag
Poem

Sympathy

Published on:
June 1, 2022
Read time:
1 min.
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            feels like I’ve been away and missed roll call
for years, but I’ve been here all along, only homed
within my brother’s sorrow. The Thief has snatched 

his treasure and run, and run, and nothing’s left
but grief’s gouging—a barren crater—and death’s
irony: for he who bequeathed us Communion

has shattered a union—or so it seems. I sorrow
for my brother’s sorrow, stand beneath his heart,
holding it in place today, tomorrow, and as many 

as it takes for heart to find its hinge and beat again.
I vow to wait. Not soon do sorrow’s howls sink,
dissolve and sweeten; regrets won’t self-absolve 

at once; and every morning dust’s relentless pull
returns and every morning the beloved dies again
upon my brother’s waking. Sympathy accepts 

and waits. So I will wait while he—vine—slowly
gropes for findings to entwine, I will wait for mist
to soften ground between her ashes and his hair, 

wait for grace-time to complete its creeping walk—
grace-time, never sleeping, silently reimagining,
redrawing dreams and redeeming itself in secret.

Johanna Caton
Johanna Caton is a Benedictine nun of Minster Abbey, located in Kent, England. An American, she lived in the US until adulthood, when her monastic vocation took her to the UK. She writes poetry because it helps her discern the presence of God in her life. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in a number of publications, including The Windhover, The Christian Century, St Austin Review, and the Catholic Poetry Room. Johanna is a Pushcart Prize nominee.

Cover image by Josh Applegate.